In the Darkened Hours

So you are lost again
beneath the turning hub
of the fire flecked sky
and you call it a dream
as you wander the labyrinth
of streets and causeways,
past the shadow barges,
over the ice cloaked  river,
down the rugged gullies
where you left behind
the satchels which hold
the weapons and the maps.

So you are lost again
where the night prevails
and you call it a dream
in the oldest city of all,
where the lighted towers
rise and fall like spokes
against the churning sky,
where the voices wail,
where you are engaged 
in senseless conversation 
with a host of familiar 
strangers whose directions 
lead you further astray.
So you must travel alone
without weapons or maps
to the house of your father,
past the wrought iron fences,
past the shores and lakes
of the naked arboretum,
past the fallen hillsides
and the deserted air field
where the burning engines
of destruction have fed.
So you climb the stairs
and discover the rooms
of your childhood have
blurred and shifted
like a moldering text,
door frames twisted
at elusive angles,
windows collapsed,
unbounded hallways
and shredded chambers
lifting off into space.
So you are lost again
in the night of the city.
So you must travel alone
to a house drawn from
your flesh and bones.
So you must do this
as the landscape changes.
So you must descend
the rugged gullies
while you forge
the faces of dead lovers.
So you must reassemble
the broken statuary
in your mother's garden
and leave your father's
books upon their shelves. 
So you must speak with
the familiar strangers
who know your name.
So you must recite
from the annals
of your stillborn brother,
maniacal and devoted,
who takes your wrist
upon the stairs.
So you call it a dream:
this house you inhabit,
this city you traverse
with blind expectancy,
these faces you fashion
from the imperfect cloth
of memory transfigured,
these visions you conjure
in the darkened hours
with haunting replication.
First appeared in The Nightmare Collector (2 AM Publications), 1987,